How Much Do You Miss Your Favourite High FODMAPs Food?
This post contains a lot of ‘toilet humour’ (which is quite common when you suffer from IBS), read only if not offended by this type of humour and away from meals.
The story starts here:
I have been following a low FODMAPs diet for almost a year now. Initially I completed the 6 weeks elimination process (PS.: nowadays the elimination phase can be from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the individual needs) and then slowly introduced a few high FODMAPs food, things I really like, just to see if I could tolerate them in small doses. Now I know that from time to time, I can indulge in some small quantities of my favourite food such as avocado, hummus, mango etc. I usually will have a little serving and not all in the same meal or even on the same day. It works well for me and I feel I have found quite a good balance.
All in all, the food I normally eat, consists of about 95% low FODMAPs food. (since this article was published I am now about 85% low FODMAP)
A few weeks ago I had some girlfriends at my house for morning tea. Now that I am working from home, we do this usually once a months. As it is at my house and I am the one with the food intolerances, thank you to my IBS, I usually prepare all the food. This normally consists of some sandwiches, a few muffins, croissants and things like that, for myself I usually make some gluten free cupcakes and a gluten free sandwich. We have some food, we drink some herbal tea or hot chocolate or hot milo, we chat, we laugh.
On that particular morning tea encounter, in addition to the usual food, I also made for my friends a dozen of mini strawberry and custard tarts. You have to know that those tarts have always been one of my very favourite dessert (after chocolate mudcake). I am not sure why I like them so much, maybe because they remind me of a beautiful spring day, growing up in Italy and having those tarts in spring when the strawberries were in season…Anyway during the morning tea I had my boring gluten free stuff and my friends had their yummier food. By the time my friends left my house, a couple of strawberry and custard tarts were left uneaten, to be precise 3 strawberry tarts were sitting on a plate looking at me, almost smiling at me 🙂
I was sad 🙁 thinking that they would have ended up in the bin, as nobody else likes them at my house…. ), but as I was still trying to find the courage to toss them in the bin, all of a sudden, I experienced this happy sensation overtaking me and a small voice saying, ‘just have one, it’s not going to hurt you….’ you can surely agree with me that when that ‘small voice’ tells you to eat those innocent strawberry tarts, you need to act. And so I did act. I shoved a strawberry tart down my throat so quickly, like I was trying to hide from myself that I was committing a sin. Contemplating that I was still standing and I hadn’t dropped dead on the floor, I took a second one and gave a big bite to that too. The third one, ended up in the bin, I wasn’t going to push the envelope that far.
Did I enjoy my transgressive food? Not really, I ate them so quickly that I didn’t even taste them, what a waste.
If You Do Cheat Make Sure You DON’T NEED TO ATTEND Parent-Teacher Interviews That Afternoon!
By then it was time to go and get my girls from school and then there was a one-to-one parent-teacher meeting at school….
While waiting to be seen by the first teacher, I started to feel a familiar rumbling travelling up and down my lower digestive system.
‘Noooo, not now’ – was my immediate reaction, ‘not here with tiny toilet seats and almost open cubicles.’ I prayed for the pain, the bloating, the noise and everything else to give me a break for the next 2 hours. Two hours? That is a very longtime, for this type of things…’I am never going to make it’, I thought.
As I was considering to cancel my meetings and rushing home, my first appointment called me, ‘that’s it’, I thought, ‘I am completely going to embarrass myself, I will have to excuse myself in the middle of the interview and leave.’
Very fortunately for me, someone looked down at me that afternoon and made it go away. Seriously, it was gone, the pain, the bloating, the rumbling, all gone.
I proudly finished all my 8 parent-teachers interview and left.
When You Have IBS You Need To Know Where The Nearest Toilets Are
Instead of driving back home that afternoon, I decided to go into town to get a birthday present for one of my girlfriends. After brainstorming presents ideas with my daughters, I settled for a restaurant voucher, where my friend and her husband could go and enjoy a romantic night out, plus an offer for babysitting their adorable little boy.
As it happens, the restaurant was still closed and we had half an hour to kill, before opening time. My daughters noticed the nearby ice-cream place. So we entered the shop, which was some type of self-service frozen yoghurt place; they filled up their big cups with frozen yoghurt and lollies and when I was standing in the queue to pay, I felt an uncontrollable pain in my bowels, maybe caused by the low temperature inside the shop. I knew at that point there was no more time for miracles.
‘Oh no, this time it’s coming, it’s serious, I got away with it once today, but now it’s coming back with a vengeance’, I thought.
I gave my eldest daughter the money for the ice-creams and quickly walked towards the nearest toilets in the nearby shopping mall (there were actually much closer toilets, but because I was panicking, I couldn’t think straight). For what it seemed a full marathon length walk, I reached the shopping mall. By then I was sweating and I could feel my bowel not being able to hold much longer. ‘I’m only 100 mt away hang on, hang on. NOOOOOOO the toilets are out of order’, there were construction works at the mall and they had closed down the ground floor toilets. A sign said to use the toilets on the first or second floor. I quickly pressed the button to call the only working lift (no escalators, no stairs, just one lift for the entire mall) and by miracle it opened. ‘NOOOO someone is already inside and NOOOOO the lift is going down to the parking. I need to go up quickly, I feel like I am dying, I wish I was already dead. NOOO I can’t do it, I can take it any longer.’ The lady gets out and faster than a lightening I press the first floor button.
I arrive to the first floor and there are more constructions works, the toilets have been moved, I don’t know where the new ones are. Too late, as much as I am trying to hold it in, the two strawberry and custard tarts are making their way out with the rest of the low FODMAPs food ingested during the day.
Somehow I soon managed to find the disabled toilets, I locked myself in and finished what had already started.
Say GoodBye To My Favourite Pants
It was awful, it was messy and it was smelly, I was embarrassed, nobody knew (they do now 😉 ), nobody saw me, but I felt really embarrassed. I took my bottom clothes off, wrapped my undies in a lot of toilet paper and throw them in the bin.
Put my pants back on (luckily I wasn’t wearing a dress or skirt that day) and put an entire toilet roll of paper between my skin and the soiled pants.
Made my way back to the ice cream place and saw the faces of my puzzled girls. My youngest one almost screaming: ‘Where did you go for all this time mamma?’
The moral of the story is that either the shortcrust pastry of the tart or the custard (more likely) caused all that and for as much as I love (or used to) strawberry tarts, this is a cheat I will never repeat again.
Do you ever cheat on you food? Would you risk that for your favourite high FODMAPs food?
Until next time, take care.